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Staff photo by Karen Jonas
A power line stretches across the desert at the site of the proposed Calico Solar project on Wednesday. A site tour conducted on Wednesday drew about 60 people interested in the project.

BrightSource: Tortoise issue won't delay project completion

Despite a temporary halt called by the Bureau of Land Management for some of the construction at the Ivanpah solar facility, a BrightSource Energy spokesperson said the project is still on track for completion in 2013.

BrightSource is currently building a 370-megawatt solar project near the California-Nevada border. The BLM called a halt to construction at Ivanpah 2 and 3 last week after discovering higher numbers of tortoises than predicted during previous studies.

BrightSource spokesman Keely Wachs said in a prepared statement that only fencing and the use of a road at Ivanpah units 2 and 3 have been discontinued and power from the project is still expected to come online in 2013.

Calico site tour shows expanse of proposed project

About 60 people interested in the Calico Solar project went on a site tour of the project on Wednesday. The California Energy Commission held the meeting on Wednesday to inform the public about a proposed change in the technology used at the site.

K Road Sun wants to change the project from solely SunCatcher dishes — which track the sun and concentrates its energy using curved glass mirror facets — to mainly solar photovoltaic panels, with only a portion of the project using the SunCatcher dishes.

State bill seeks siting renewable energy on disturbed lands

A proposed state bill that seeks to identify and site renewable energy projects on contaminated lands — such as closed landfills, brownfields and degraded agricultural lands without access to water — was recently referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) proposed the bill, which would create incentives for the development of renewable energy on land unsuitable for other uses.
The bill is similar to a proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which also seeks to develop renewable energy on contaminated lands.

The renewable energy projects would be less than 50 megawatts and the adoption of the bill would help preserve undisturbed lands and advance renewable energy goals, according to the bill.


Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4122 or kjonas@desertdispatch.com


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